Central New York Child Safety Restraint Violation Attorney

Every parent wants to keep their child safe in the car, which often means placing a child in a car seat or booster seat until they can use a standard seat belt. Unfortunately, with so many child car seats to choose from and complex rules for which seats to use, it’s easy for parents in New York to unexpectedly receive a child safety restraint violation. A child safety restraint violation might seem like a minor inconvenience, but the potential consequences include fines, points on your license, and a steep hike in your insurance premiums.

Fortunately, you do not have to handle a child safety restraint violation in New York yourself. The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers can fight your ticket and help you avoid the worst penalties these violations carry. Traffic tickets are our firm’s core practice area, and our client reviews demonstrate our skill and record of success. Call us today or complete our contact form for a free consultation.

New York Child Restraint Laws

Based on information from New York law and the New York DMV, here are the key points to know:

  • Children under age two must use a rear-facing car seat
  • Children under age four must use a child safety seat (e.g., a forward-facing car seat)
  • Children under age eight must use a booster seat or other child restraint system
  • All child safety seats and restraints must meet certain specifications under Federal Motor Vehicles Safety Standard 213.

Penalties for Child Safety Restraint Violations in New York

The New York DMV says the penalties for a child safety restraint violation include a fine of up to $100 and 3 points on your driver’s license. That might not sound like much, but three points on your license could be enough to cause a suspension, depending on your prior driving record. Furthermore, once your insurance company finds out about the ticket, you will most likely see a substantial increase in your premiums, increasing the ticket’s financial impact.

It’s worth noting that these penalties may be the start of your problems, depending on the circumstances of your case. For example, if you received a child safety restraint violation after a police officer pulled you over for speeding, you would also face the consequences of a speeding ticket. The combined penalties of a child safety restraint violation and another traffic ticket could well lead to the suspension of your driver’s license, increased fines, and other severe consequences.

What Child Safety System Should You Use?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has guidelines regarding what child safety system you should use. The type of seat depends on your child’s age, height, and weight, but here’s what the NHTSA says:

  • Infants up to age one should always use rear-facing seats, as they offer the most protection in a crash.
  • Children ages one to three should use rear-facing seats until they reach the size limit for the seat, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Children can start using forward-facing car seats around age three or four.
  • From ages four to seven, children should use a forward-facing seat with a tether and harness until they reach the maximum size allowed by the device’s manufacturer.
  • Starting at age seven or eight, children can use booster seats if they are too big for forward-facing car seats. The seat’s lap belt should rest snugly on their upper thighs, and the belt’s shoulder strap should not cross the neck or face. Children in booster seats should always ride in the back of a car.
  • Beginning at age 12 or 13, children can start using standard seat belts as long as the belt fits properly. They should still ride in the back seat.

How Do I Know My Child’s Safety Restraint Works Correctly?

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee has a list of qualified child safety seat inspection stations. You can take your vehicle to any of these locations and ask them to inspect your child’s safety seat.

When to Replace a Car Seat After a Collision

Like bicycle helmets, child safety seats are one-use items, meaning they are designed to withstand one impact before replacement. The NHTSA says you should replace a car seat after anything other than a “minor” collision. A crash is only minor if it meets all the following criteria:

  • You could drive the car away from the crash site
  • The door closest to the car seat did not sustain any damage
  • No one in the car sustained any injuries
  • The airbags did not deploy
  • The car seat has no visible damage

It’s crucial to remember that all these criteria must apply for the crash to count as minor. Otherwise, make sure to replace your child’s car seat before putting them in the car again.

How Our New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers Can Help You

If you’re facing a child safety restraint violation in New York, our traffic ticket defense lawyers can assist you in many ways. Here are a few things we can do to help you:

  • Provide a case review: We’ll start by examining the specifics of your case, including the circumstances of the violation and the evidence presented.
  • Provide legal guidance: We can explain the laws regarding child safety restraints and your rights, which can help you understand the legal landscape.
  • Create a defense strategy: Our lawyers can develop defense strategies to help you avoid paying a fine or getting other penalties. These strategies may include questioning the citation’s validity or the proper use of the restraint system according to guidelines.
  • Negotiate with prosecutors: Depending on the facts of your case, we might negotiate with prosecutors to reduce penalties or seek alternative resolutions.
  • Provide court representation: If your case goes to court, we’ll represent you in all legal proceedings, advocating on your behalf to achieve the best possible outcome.

Above all, our goal is to mitigate the impact of the violation on your record and ensure compliance with safety laws. Call the New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers today or complete our contact form for a case evaluation.